Buying Chrome computers

by Ed Sawicki

Buying Chrome computers

Buying a Chromebook is easy. You just need to decide which one. You can purchase a Chromebook from brick-and-mortar retail stores, but their selection tends to be sparse and salespeople may not be knowledgable about them. You can buy on-line and get exactly what you want.

It may be a little more difficult to know what to buy if you want a Chrome desktop computer. Here I'll give you examples of what to buy for various scenarios. I'm keeping the prices low. In all cases, you can substitute a more expensive Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. See the warning about wireless keyboards and mice at the bottom of this page.

I'll be using Amazon online shopping for my examples. I'm an Amazon Prime member so I get free shipping. You may have to pay a little more.

Scenario 1: Chromebox

In this scenario, you simply want to buy a complete Chrome desktop computer. I'll base this on a Chromebox, so the computer and monitor will be separate items. You'll need a video cable to connect them. I haven't added speakers because some people like to use headphones instead.

ASUS CHROMEBOX-M004U Deluxe with 4Gb Memory$199.99
ASUS VS248H-P 24-inch Full HD VGA Back-lit LED Monitor$149.00
AmazonBasics Wired Keyboard$13.50
AmazonBasics 3-Button USB Wired Mouse (Black)$7.69
AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable - 3 Feet$4.99
Total$375.17

 

Here's what you're buying. Click any of these items to go to the Amazon page for it. It will appear in another browser tab.

Chromebox monitor keyboard mouse HDMI cable

If you are replacing your Windows desktop computer with a Chrome computer because it became virus or malware-infected, your monitor, keyboard, and mouse are probably still OK. You only need to buy the Chromebox for $199.99. Make sure the monitor and the Chromebox share compatible video.

Scenario 2: Chromebase

In this scenario, you want to buy a complete Chrome desktop computer but you want to minimize the space taken up by the computer and reduce cable clutter. With a Chromebase instead of a Chromebox, the computer is built-in to the monitor. This takes up less space and eliminates the video cable. There are no speakers here as well.

Acer DQ.Z0EAA.001;CA24I-CN Chromebase 24 Celeron 4GB RAM-16GB SSD-23.8"$453.99
AmazonBasics Wired Keyboard$13.50
AmazonBasics 3-Button USB Wired Mouse (Black)$7.69
Total:$475.18

Here's what you're buying. Click any of these items to go to the Amazon page for it. It will appear in another browser tab.

Cjromebase keyboard mouse

Scenario 3: Chromebit

You have a 60-inch HD television set that's already connected to the Internet in your den. You can watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Youtube movies and videos now. You want to add a computer so you can do things that the TV set doesn't support. You have no room for a computer and another monitor. Your TV set has an available HDMI (video and sound) port.

You're going to use a Chromebit that will hide behind the TV. You'll use a wireless keyboard with a built-in trackpad on your snack tray.

ASUS CHROMEBIT CS10 Stick-Desktop PC$82.99
Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus with Built-In Touchpad$29.99
Total:$112.98

Here's what you're buying. Click any of these items to go to the Amazon page for it. It will appear in another browser tab.

Chromebit Keyboard/trackpad

The Logitech wireless keyboard and trackpad requires that a USB receiver (included) plugs-in to the only USB connector on the Chromebit. A similar Bluetooth keyboard and trackpad (that doesn't require a USB receiver) costs $78.99. Since that's way more expensive and its internal battery needs recharging far more often, I didn't include it but it would free up the Chromebit's USB port.

A 4-port USB hub would allow you to use the less expensive keyboard/trackpad and still have 3 USB ports available. Here's an inexpensive ($16.99) 4-port USB 3.0 hub that you can use:

4-port USB hub

Wireless vs. Bluetooth devices

There's no problem substituting a wireless keyboard and mouse in these scenarios, but it's best to use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. A wireless mouse that is not Bluetooth requires that you use a little receiver that plugs-in to a USB port on the Chrome computer. This uses a USB port that might better be used for something else now or in the future.

Copyright © 2016 by Ed Sawicki